Cheesecake Factory Chipotle Pasta

ImageI’m always looking for new pasta recipes because it is so easy during the week to cook up some whole wheat pasta and a quick sauce. This recipe is just that. It is extremely easy and delicious to boot. The creamy sauce is rich but complimented nicely with crunchy veggies.

Serves: 8      Calories: 470       Time: 

Ingredients:

  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, rinsed ribbed and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, rinsed ribbed and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta (we used penne)
  • 3 tbsp adobo sauce ( OPTIONAL: chop up and add a chipotle pepper or two to add additional heat)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • tortilla chips to top

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to its package directions.
  2. Combine lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside
  3. Chop veggies and garlic
  4. Over medium high heat, heat a skillet and add butter and canola oil.
  5. Add peppers, onion and lemon/honey mixture. Cook for approximately 5 minutes (until onions become clear) stirring as not to burn the honey.
  6. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
  7. Add frozen peas, heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Cook until peas are heated through approximately 5 minutes
  8. Let simmer for a few minutes so sauce will thicken and add adobo sauce and optional chopped chipotle
  9. If you are making homemade tortilla chips now would be the time to do it.
  10. Dish your pasta and top with tortilla chips. We also sprinkled chipotle pepper powder on top. Can you tell we like it hot 🙂
  11. Enjoy!
  12. TIP : When reheating do it stovetop to protect the sauce from separating. Heat over medium flame and stir constantly. There is cheese in this recipe so it will burn if you do not keep a constant stir.

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adopted from http://mrsschwartzkitchen.blogspot.com/

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Grilled Spicy Black Bean Patties with Guacamole (+ added condiment bonus at the end)

After vacationing in Central America and eating from a buffet for 7 days (can you say fat girl in paradise?) we decided it was time to get back on the healthy eating train. Yesterday was the first day back and with it being Labor Day we decided grilling was the only way to go. When I hear “grill” I usually picture beefy slabs of meat and juicy hotdogs, but not in this house. We substituted the dogs and burgers with a new recipe for black bean patties topped with a lighter version of fresh guac. Be warned that these puppies have some heat so if you do not like spicy be ready to modify the recipe a bit. They do not take long to make (unless your toddler locks the sliding glass door on you and leaves you waiting outside for 15 minutes) so this would make for a good quick weeknight dinner idea.

Serves 4: 178 calories/patty

Ingredients:

– 1 Medium Avocado

– 1 Tomato, Chopped (I like Roma tomatoes)

– 1 tbsp Lime Juice (if you LOVE lime like me kick it up to 1.5 tsp.)

– Salt and Pepper to Taste

– 2 Slices of Whole Wheat Bread (Toasted and Torn)

– 3 tbsp. Fresh Cilantro

– 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

– 1 15oz. Can of Black Beans (go for no sodium if you can), rinsed and drained

– 1 Canned Chipotle Pepper in adobo sauce (seriously only use 1 of these unless you really like hot. Save extra chipotle peppers for added condiment bonus at the bottom of this post.)

– 1-2 tsp. adobo sauce depending on taste (more if you like spicy)

– 1 tsp cumin

– 1 egg

Directions:

1. First make the guacamole. Seed and peel the avocado then mash. Stir in lime juice and add pepper and salt to your taste. When mixed well add the tomato and gently fold into the guacamole. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. Put the toasted and torn bread into a blender/food processer. Blend/process until the bread becomes coarse breadcrumbs. Put in a bowl and set aside. ( For those who do not have a blender/food processer don’t worry. You can do all of these steps with your hands. It does get sticky but that’s part of the fun 🙂 ) 

3. Place garlic and cilantro into blender/food processor. Don’t overdo it with chopping these guys because I feel like you get a better flavor the less mushed together it is. Once chopped add 1/2 of the beans, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and cumin. Cover and blend/process. Don’t worry about it being perfectly processed. You’ll want there to be some partially intact beans to keep the patties together. Add contents of blender/processor to breadcrumbs. Add rest of the beans and 1 egg. Mix with your hands until you have a nice combined mixture.

4.) Form into 4 – 1/2inch patties.

5.) You can add the patties directly to the grill (Medium Heat) but I like to use foil instead of running the risk of loosing one of these guys. If you put them directly on the grill don’t forget to grease the rack and same goes for foil. Grease it up!

6.) Cook for 8 minutes total flipping them half way through. Do not kick it up to high heat or overcook or else they will be very dry.

7.) Top with guacamole and enjoy!

BONUS!:!:

If you or someone in your family loves spicy and also loves mayo add a left over chipotle pepper and some adobo sauce to some mayo to spread on sandwiches. My husband loves it when we have left over chipotles because that means lunch with a kick! I also think it would be good to wrap one of the black bean patties in lettuce with some chipotle mayo and guacamole. We will definitely be trying that next time we make these 🙂

**Photo is original taken by me

**Original recipe can be found at:

http://www.bhg.com/recipe/beans/southwestern-black-bean-cakes-with-guacamole/